The Vision of our Fraternity is:
As a Secular Franciscan Fraternity, we are committed to personal growth through studying and living of the Gospels and Franciscan writings. Like Francis, we are called to move into the larger community and share our prayer and spirituality with others. Our life as a fraternity reflects the joy, the spirit of poverty, the support of family, penance, evangelization, and ecumenical outreach, according to the spirit of Saint Francis and his devotion to the Trinity.
Visit the other pages of our website to see how this Community makes this vision a reality.
The point of the Third Order is to accept with humility
the task of one's secular profession and its requirements,
wherever one happens to be,
while directing one's whole life
to that deep interior communion with Christ that Francis showed us.
--Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 79
Dear Friends and Brothers and Sisters Christ,
Welcome to the Saint Clare Secular Franciscan Fraternity website.
The Secular Franciscan Order is a community of Catholic men and women in the world who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Secular Franciscans are members of the Third Order of St. Francis founded by St. Francis of Assisi 800 years ago.
All of the brothers and sisters in our fraternity of Saint Clare, are pleased that you are interested in visiting our website and that you have decided to learn more about our fraternity and our endeavors to live our lives according to the gospel. We are richly blessed in our call to be Franciscans. We consider ourselves followers of Christ in the tradition of Saint Francis, from the Gospel to life and life to the Gospel. To be a Secular Franciscan is a special call by the Holy Spirit to grow in wisdom through personal and communal prayer and share God’s perfect love and charity with those around us.
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
As the minister of St. Clare Fraternity, I invite you to visit with us and meet our brothers and sisters who, called to live the Gospel, profess and dedicate ourselves to live the Rule of St. Francis. This rule is our guide and roadmap to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis.
The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people. SFO Rule - Article 4
…let prayer and contemplation be the soul of all they are and do… SFO Rule – Article 8
Saint Clare Fraternity meets on the second Sunday of every month, 9:45am at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 38 Knox Road, Phoenix, Arizona. If you would like more information about our meetings, or if you are interested in becoming a Franciscan, please give us a call at 602-448-9799. Let us tell you about our Formation classes.
On behalf of all of our brothers and sisters, we thank you for your interest in Saint Clare Fraternity and we invite everyone to visit the information on our website. We also welcome any questions or comments you may have.
Blessed by Franciscan life and wishing you peace, joy and all good,
Kathleen (Katie) M. Barker, OFS
Minister, St. Clare Fraternity
Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org If you are living in the greater Phoenix area, or more specifically in the East Valley, and wish to inquire if the way of St. Francis is for you, please contact our Formation Director- Carol Benaquist- email@example.com We are happy to assist you in any way possible.
Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself, let them exercise their responsibilities competently in Christian spirit of service.
Of all the branches of the Franciscan family, we as Secular Franciscans have the greater responsibility of making our world one in which all persons are treated as children of God. Not only from a human perspective but also from a deeper Catholic perspective, we are to seek the best for those who are unable to seek the good for themselves. A careful reading of Gaudium et Spes, The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, a document of Vatican II, and subsequent papal writings, The Development of Peoples by Paul VI, himself a Secular Franciscan, and Love in Truth, a recent letter of Pope Benedict XVI, show the importance of our involvement in temporal affairs. We are further reminded of our duty as citizens of local community and a global world through the General Constitutions: Secular Franciscans should always act as a leaven in the environment in which they live through the witness of their fraternal love and clear Christian motivations (GC 19.1). In the spirit of minority, they should opt for relationships which give preference to the poor and to those on the fringe of society, whether these be individuals or categories of persons of an entire people (GC 19.2).
Source: F.U.N. Formation text: "The Rule of the SFO – 3-23-2011 Page 37, 38 of 46"
Let them individually and collectively be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives. Especially in the field of public life, they should make definite choices in harmony with their faith.
Justice for the underprivileged is a hallmark not only of our Franciscan vocation but also of our Catholic baptism. How many times did Jesus seek justice for those who were unjustly accused? How many times did he stand up for the underpriveleged who had no one to speak for them? How many times did he condemn a law that was unjust and burdensome for the poor? Secular Franciscans should "be in the forefront ... in the field of public life." They should collaborate as much as possible for the passage of just laws and ordinances (GC 22.1). The fraternities should engage themselves through courageous initiatives . . . they should take clear positions whenever human dignity is attacked by any form of oppression or indifference. They should offer their fraternal service to the victims of injustice (GC 22.2). We must always keep in mind that the renunciation of the use of violence, characteristic of the followers of Francis, does not mean the renunciation of action . . . the brothers and sisters should take care that their interventions are always inspired by Christian love (GC 22.3).
Source: F.U.N. Formation text: "The Rule of the SFO – 3-23-2011 Page 38 of 46"